How to lead a great FREE BIKE ride

The following recommendations are from a comic created by Shawn Granton for Shift2Bikes’s Pedapalooza in Portland (used with permission).

  • Put thought into your ride: focus on an interesting designation, a good route, or both. Having an interesting concept doesn’t hurt, either.
  • Remember: Your ride doesn’t have to be: about “bikey” stuff, end at a bar, be “wacky,” or be slow ‘n’ mellow.
  • Ride Your Route: Ride it with a large group in mind and ideally at the same time of day as your ride. Keep an eye out for potential obstacles, like construction. Have a “Plan B” ready.
  • Start Location/Timing: Try to find a semi-central location for the start point, one easily accessible by public transit. And expect people to be late, so it’s a good idea to publish your ride start time as 15-30 minutes earlier than you intended to leave.
  • Get the Word Out: The FREE BIKE calendar is a great start. Use social networking tools.  Contact folks interested in your subject matter. Printed flyers ain’t bad either!
  • Be Clear: Before departure, explain what kind of ride it is (Casual? Fast-paced?), how legal it will be (stop at every stop sign? Cork?), how long the ride will be, etc. If you’re not returning to the start, make that clear as well.
  • Be Prepared: You may have “newbies.” A rider will inevitably forget something. You end the ride in an unfamiliar (to some) neighborhood. Folks are hungry at the end of the ride. Prepare for these possibilities.
  • CHECKLIST: Pump, Patch Kit, Tools, Transit Maps, Bike Maps.


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